Gelte Fish, Dream #10, November 19, 1989


In my dream are two rooms. I moved from one to the other. In the “other” room I eat some unfamiliar fish, “gelte” fish. I think to my self, “This is the Bread of Life.”

There was more to the dream but it the morning it had receded back into the unconscious. I made the dream rookie mistake of not getting up to write it down when it occurred at 3:00 am.

What is the symbol of the fish?

Word association is the only strategy I have learned to this point. So, in the Catholic tradition, fish symbolize the content of the sea of the unconscious. Church vestments, altar cloths, the Communion rail, Christ as fisher of men, feeding the 5000 with a five loaves of and two fishes. Manifesting endless substance in the form of bread and fishes. Limitless oceans filled with fish, surviving the Flood. Fish are associated with Christ in Biblical times and water with new life. Quantum physics, channels, mystics and spiritual writers in many aspects are writing and speaking of the emergence of a new consciousness. I have always, even as a small child, believed that the so called second coming has to do with consciousness and not the “person” of Christ. When I research the words Gelte Fish I come to realize it has a long tradition as a Jewish food and of course, throughout my growing up years, fish was always served on Fridays in our home. I knew nothing of its symbolism. It was explained as a “sacrifice” or “penance”.  I am coming to understand how symbolism has been concretized and literalized such that much of the power of ritual has been dried and dessicated. I  must bring the symbolism to life within me.

The merging of two rooms into one.

I grip this dream tightly as a sign that I am coming to some sort of new consciousness, centered in Life. I think about the saying that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” and I know that I have spent many years divided off and that hearing voices in 1984-85 was an indication of potential psychic split. I don’t have the proper psychoanalytic terms for it. Does it really matter? What good have labelled diagnosis done for me up to now? Nothing. Sadly, I have lost all trust in medical or psychological help. I am learning to trust my own inner world, my beginning understanding of my own Inner Christ. I have always believed in miracles. Now, I am experiencing my own. And I have a definition of miracles from my inner voice, “Miracles are seeing that which has always been there. Perfection.”

In Mass on Sunday mornings, I experience the Eucharist in a whole new way. I am overcome with tears. Overwhelmed. The Ultimate Presence and Unity with the Inner Christ. Over and over I pray, “In me, with me, through me.” One morning in prayer, the two rooms become One.

On November 26, 1989, the Feast of Christ the King, late afternoon, I am overwhelmed by beyond imaginable sadness, pain and fear. Unwilling to burden my husband or the kids, I go to our bedroom to cry out my anguish. I so badly want just ONE PERSON in my family to show some bit of an expression of joy in this healing which has changed my life so deeply. Instead, I am met with admonitions: “Be careful” says a woman with whom I speak at a so-called Charismatic Conference. “Satin heals,” “You are dabbling in the occult.”  From a family member, “It doesn’t hurt to pray, but this is ridiculous.” First I cry. Then, I am so damn angry I could quite easily kill someone. Or so I think. I pray over and over. “Jesus make it safe.” I claim peace. And I cry. And I remember the Song of Songs, “He has sent me to bid up the brokenhearted.” My heart aches for some words of understanding and love from my family. I am too afraid to ask. I try to be understanding of the fears people have. I am furious that this great big Catholic family which professes belief doesn’t really believe unless it is on their own particular set of rules. Who makes all the rules anyway?  Why is there so little understanding or interest in dreams? How come there has never been a Sunday morning sermon on the power of dreams? Why do I need an “expert” to tell me what it all means? Is there something wrong with me that no one else gets it? I am filled with fears.  I see three stages to healing: first the ‘miracle’, then preaching, and finally self-righteous zealotry where the healing isn’t complete but suddenly God is telling that person all the answers for everyone.  I keep encountering that know-it-all person who has the answer and the TRUTH for everyone and  scares the hell out of me.   And I come to realize I am projecting my own fears onto others! I know the psychological process of individuation is far from complete. Do I have the stamina, the courage, the just plain guts to see it through? I worry that the healing may be only a fantasy. I tell no one. I need unconditional love. Not advice. I have sufficient advice, from my abusive inner voice which often screams, “You really are crazy, aren’t you?”

There is much more in my Journal pages. The healing process could easily be called, The Gradual Instant since it has gone on for so long but is still now. It will be months before I discover more depth in the Gelte Fish symbol of this dream. It will come from “Hello Dolly,” a little restaurant on 124th Street where my colleagues and I sometimes go for a quick lunch.


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